Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Union General Robert Schenck Autograph Letter Signed "Rob. C. Schenck". Two pages, 7.75" x 10", Camp at Sperryville, August 5, 1862. Addressed to William A. Buckingham, Governor of Connecticut, in part:

    "It will gratify you to hear, as it relieves me to be able to inform you, that Major Lyon has determined to resign; his resignation to take effect on the 10th inst. It is unnecessary now to go into the causes & influences which have led him finally to this conclusion. The reason assigned is his continued illness. I shall take measures now for getting the battalion together, with a view to putting it, if we can, on a better footing & increasing its efficiency. Will you permit me to say that I think you can contribute [illegible] to this by the appointment of Capt. Fish to succeed the Major's command. I believe his promotion would do much to restore a good state of feeling among both officers & men, the general confidence of both of whom he has. You know Capt. Fish's qualities & fitness for the place, in many respects, perhaps as well & better than I do; but my opportunities have been such for observing him as a soldier, that I cannot forbear certifying to you that he possesses, in my opinion, & as he has indeed on more than one occasion practically proved, the spirit, the dash, & yet the cool [illegible] & discretion, which make him particularly well suited to be a leader of cavalry. I do not in this mean to detach from the other captains, Farnsworth & Blakeslee. They are also good officers. But Fish, I take the liberty to say, is the man for this promotion".

    Robert Cumming Schenck (1809-1890) served four terms in the United States Congress prior to the war, and was also named ambassador to Brazil. When the war broke out, Schenck was appointed brigadier general, and fought in important battles such as the First and Second Battle of Bull Run and Jackson's Valley Campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. Soon after this letter was written, he was gravely injured at the Second Battle of Bull Run and permanently lost the use of his right arm. Captain William S. Fish was indeed promoted to the rank of Major, and took command of the Battalion of Cavalry. Fish would later be promoted to Provost Marshal.

    Condition: Light toning at mail folds and edges, minimal ink transfer on verso.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 219

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $250,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $250,000 and $2,500,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,500,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 45 days left to consign to the 2020 April 23 Historical Manuscripts Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,022,424